January 10, 2013
The Keeper Reaper
Starting Pitching for 1/10/13
This week’s Keeper Reaper with starting pitchers tackles some of the bigger names who might be putting you to a tough decision depending on your league parameters.
Despite being one of the most coveted free agents during the offseason and joining a new team, Greinke’s family doesn’t have to pack up and move. Well, unless they never fully moved to LA after Zack was traded there from Milwaukee. At any rate, he is staying in LA while heading back to the more favorable league. A sabermetric darling, Greinke enjoyed yet another season where his peripherals suggested that he should have been better than he was, as evidenced by every ERA estimator in existence. It is time to start holding Greinke accountable for missing those marks, however, as we can’t just chalk it up to mere bad luck anymore.
Greinke is prone to more implosion starts than you would expect from guys of his caliber, and those outings conspire to keep his ERA higher than it “should be” based on how great he is in the overwhelming majority of his starts. And if you watch these starts, you see that this isn’t just a rash of bad luck, in most cases, but simply poor performance. Since 2010, his 13 starts of allowing six or more earned runs are tied for the fifth-highest total in baseball.
The guys ahead of him include names you won’t be surprised to see: Jeremy Guthrie (19), A.J. Burnett (18), Justin Masterson (17), Randy Wolf (14), and Luke Hochevar (14). He is tied with five others at 13, and again most of the names won’t surprise: Carl Pavano, Paul Maholm, and Gavin Floyd make you say “yeah, makes sense”, while Yovani Gallardo and Josh Beckett are on or near the level of Greinke in terms of surprise.
We saw in 2009 how amazing he can be, but we are now three years removed from that Cy Young season, and it is time to start preparing for a mid-3.00s ERA while understanding the upside is there if he can avoid some of the meltdown starts. So while he grades out brilliantly with the statistics, and some might see him as worthy of keeping in that shallow format, I would pass and invest elsewhere.